One of Bellingham’s greatest pleasures is meeting our unique inhabitants. One such person is Charles Crooks, who moved here from Chicago in 2009. He offers private tarot and aura readings, which are integrated into his belief in the benefits of cannabis.
Crooks is the assistant coach (their term for assistant manager) of 2020 Solutions’ Pacific Highway location, which boasts multiple five-star reviews on “weedmaps,” as well the whole company being named Best Pot Shop in Whatcom County three years in a row. He’s understandably proud of his work. ”We’re having a new building built because we’ve done so well there, which is exciting,” he says. “We’re really focused on educating people.”
The penchant for teaching is ingrained in Crooks’ life; he attended Western Washington University with the intention of becoming a teacher.
“I also teach a class on ghost hunting,” he explains. Crooks explores haunted places and teaches others about all things ghostly through Bellingham Observers of the Odd and Obscure (BOOO), as well as through Bellingham Ghost Hunting.
He says his work with BOOO, exploring the footprints of the haunted, “kind of opened me up to the more psychic senses. It confirmed that I have more going on, or that I’m sensing more of what’s going on [than is readily apparent].”
This led him to work with Simply Spirit, a local spirituality complex located in the Haskell Business Center. Under their auspices, Crooks enrolled in an eight-week training. He later advanced to a year-long program, and then joined a six-month apprenticeship for clairvoyance and psychic development. He’s one program away from being eligible to be on-staff at Simply Spirit.
He had been reading tarot for himself for many years, but as he started developing his skills through Simply Spirit and self-study, Crooks began reading tarot for others. This evolved into offering clairvoyant, or psychic, readings. Recently, he started offering Inneractive AuraCloud 3D digital aura imaging services, known colloquially as aura photography. For Crooks, all these services can be integrated with cannabis exploration.
Cannabis is a unique influence in Crooks’ work. “I want to educate,” he says. “You can use cannabis safely, to help you spiritually. But it’s a different energy and sometimes you need help to guide you through that.”
He calls his work in this field “CannaSoul,” and recently began teaching guided cannabis-assisted meditation classes, as well as using the aura camera to visually reveal cannabis’ effects on his clients. “For a deeper introspection, one might try strains like Pacific Blue or Sunset Sherbet. If just beginning with cannabis and meditation, I recommend more uplifting strains like Magnum P.I., Grapefruit, and Elphinstone.”
Crooks recalls one client to whom he gave a unique “before and after” aura photography session. In the first image, the client appears to be surrounded by a yellow field of energy. In the second – taken after the client consumed cannabis – the colors shifted to blue and green. And in the third, taken after the (still cannabis-affected) client received an energy clearing from Crooks, her aura is almost entirely blue. “She felt better,” Crooks says. “Her head felt clearer and the reading gave her [a sense of] direction. She felt very validated by that.”
Tarot, clairvoyant and aura readings are meant not to divine the future, so much as to examine the present. “It’s almost like holding up a mirror to yourself and being able to see yourself in a different way,” Crooks says. “Even when I do psychic clairvoyant readings, I do it with my eyes closed and I look at your energy. It’s more reflective of the present.”
He emphasizes free will and encourages his clients to use the knowledge that he provides not to predict what will happen in a passive or observational way, but to understand the present moment. This perspective allows Crooks to use these readings to augment existing cannabis use, as well as to look at cannabis’ effectiveness for his clients. “What I’m finding [with cannabis] is that when you use it, your energy tends to go into your more spiritual centers.”
Crooks explores how the effects of cannabis shift energy. And, moreover, how he might affect positive change for clients by combining cannabis with meditation and energy work.
There are skeptics, of course. And to them he says, “I believe it’s healthy to be skeptical. I also believe it’s healthy to have an open mind. It’s important to find a balance between the two.”
These readings, heightened awareness, and focus on one’s energy, really can change lives, Crooks says. “The experience of adjusting my energy and mindset over the past three years with Simply Spirit has absolutely changed my life for the better. I feel more balanced when I do it, and I just feel healthier. I sleep better and can communicate more clearly to others.”
More focus, increased energy, and a better sense of self are all payoffs Crooks has experienced directly through both his cannabis and spirituality practices. Now he’s excited to offer the possibility to others.
For more information, visit charlescrooks.com. You can also stop by 2020 Solutions at 4770 Pacific Highway and meet Crooks in person.